From Down to Earth: GDP does not reveal the ground truth about progress in development. The top 10% of Indians control the wealth basket while the common people—more than one billion—slide down along ‘Hunger Index’. While the government flaunts a surging economy, prevalence of hunger in India is at the “high end of serious category”.
Sulak Sivaraksa, the 85-year-old Thai Buddhist monk, thinker and peace activist, is currently facing the prospect of a fifteen-year jail sentence, for criticising his country’s royal family and military junta. Here, he speaks on the global economy’s built-in inequities and biases. Also included is ‘Heavenly Messengers,’ an excerpt from his book, ‘The Wisdom of Sustainability.’
India has just climbed an unprecedented 30 spots on the World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business” ranking, which’s being celebrated as a historic moment by the mainstream media. This Down to Earth report shows how this ‘achievement’ has come at a possibly permanent damage to the environment, thanks to a steady dilution of regulatory norms.
A recent article by Tim Worstall on the Forbes website states that, in effect, India’s farmers should be allowed to go bust because that’s how economic development works. This response from Countercurrents.org traces the criminal role of neoliberal policies in undermining farmer’s independence and livelihoods to favour global agribusiness. The article has since gone viral.
Devinder Sharma writes: The real cost of economic reforms is being borne by rural India. The first-ever Socio Economic Census has now clearly brought out this stark reality… The economic wealth of 15 families in India equals that of 600 million people… On the other hand, 60-crore farmers are paying the price for unjust economic reforms.
Conventional economic analysts argue that achieving adequate human development indicators require a country’s economy has to grow continuously at an appreciable rate; but, a densely populated and resource-constrained society such as ours cannot afford to ignore the implications of high energy and material consumption (which will be a consequence of high growth of the economy).
“India’s economic policies are determined by the World Bank. They are therefore pro-capital, and anti-labour. Today the World Bank’s at the end of its tether. Its formula of formal capital in the informal economy failed because the poor don’t own capital. Having run out of ideas, they’ve now started blaming the poor for being poor.”
Efforts to curb climate change must be twinned with programmes to cut poverty, warns a study of the threat posed by global warming to food security View/download World Bank report pdf): Shock Waves : Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty The Guardian UK The world must pair efforts to stabilise climate change with